Commentary Archive

2014-2015 Player Profile: Nick Zeisloft

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’re taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster this month. Today, we continue our look at Indiana’s roster with Nick Zeisloft.

When word broke in early July that Indiana was looking into adding Illinois State transfer Nick Zeisloft, the news was met with some skepticism.

With scholarships at a premium and a solid contingency of guards already on the roster, what was piquing the staff’s interest in a 35.9 percent 3-point shooter with two years of eligibility remaining?

Tom Crean addressed that question shortly after it was announced that Zeisloft would be coming to Indiana with immediate eligibility.

“The addition of Nick allows us to spread and space the floor even more and play with more pace,” Crean said. “More importantly, we are adding a young man that has been raised well and has been well coached throughout his career. He brings a physical and mental toughness that has allowed him to play at a strong level and brings leadership and maturity to our program.”

Our first glimpse at Zeisloft came in August in Montreal where he averaged 8.8 points and hit 11 of his 20 attempts from behind the 3-point arc in 21.4 minutes per game. Zeisloft looked confident in his shot and it seemed as if he’d already earned the respect of his teammates despite being with the program for less than a month.

The start of practice and last week’s Big Ten media day in Chicago have only confirmed that Crean believes Zeisloft will be an important part of this team.

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2014-2015 Player Profile: Hanner Mosquera-Perea

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’re taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster this month. Today, we continue our look at Indiana’s roster with Hanner Mosquera-Perea.

Hanner Mosquera-Perea is the Colombian Question Mark.

Any strong prognostications on just what to expect from the junior this season seems a fool’s errand. It’s not that he won’t or can’t take a leap closer to his potential. It’s just his career has been one incident after another, and you start to wonder if he can ever take his gladiator body and couple it with adequate court awareness and fundamentals to become a reliable frontcourt factor.

The nine games missed as a freshman due to a misguided NCAA judgement. The DWI a season ago. And most recently, the missed Canada trip due to visa issues.

It’s reasonable to expect Mosquera-Perea to start. It’s reasonable to expect he’ll be better. But just how much better is the unknown right now.

To spend more time on the court, it’ll help if he cuts down on fouls (6.1 per 40 minutes, second worst on team behind Devin Davis at 7.4) and turnovers (25.7 turnover percentage, second worst on team to Davis at 25.8 percent). Tom Crean likes his teams to get to the line. More court time for Mosquera-Perea, who led the team in free throw rate (117.5) and shot it decent from there (72.3 percent) should mean more points, especially if he’s getting easy dump-off and putback opportunities from Indiana’s perimeter threats as they take it into the paint.

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag: October 21

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The Inside the Hall Mailbag is a collection of questions tweeted to us via Twitter (@insidethehall), submitted on our premium forum and sent to us via our Facebook page. Submit your questions and we’ll answer as many as we can.

hoosiersftw on the premium forum writes: In the opinion of the ITH staff, what are reasonable expectations for this team? An improved B1G record? A return to the NCAA tournament? More?

For this question, I solicited the opinion of ITH co-founder Ryan Corazza as well beat writer Jordan Littman. Corazza: “I think a return to the tourney qualifies as reasonable, which would likely mean an improved Big Ten record.” And Littman: “Well firstly, I think a reasonable expectation for this team would be a return to being regarded for its shooting. This year’s squad has many more capable shooters than last year’s, and multiple in-game scoring droughts last season certainly did not help the Hoosiers. As far as results-based expectations are concerned, though, it’s a bit difficult to say as nobody has seen this team in action. And 60 percent of the entire roster has never even played a game in the cream and crimson. That said, though, there always is a pressure for Indiana to make the NCAA tournament, and I think that also is an expectation for this season.”

Assuming Indiana improves its Big Ten record, it should be in contention for a NCAA tournament bid. That would mean it would have at least eight conference wins and if you reasonably assume ten non-conference wins, 18 wins (at minimum) going into the Big Ten tournament at least gives the Hoosiers a chance. I think getting back to the NCAA tournament is certainly reasonable to expect. — Alex Bozich

Mike Stepp on Facebook writes: What’s the latest status of the Jeremiah April injury? And if healthy what kind of role can we expect him to play this season?

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2014-2015 Player Profile: Collin Hartman

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’re taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster this month. Today, we continue our look at Indiana’s roster with Collin Hartman.

Collin Hartman’s freshman season at Indiana ended with a whimper rather than a bang.

Brought in by Indiana coach Tom Crean to be a shooter on a team that desperately needed them, Hartman played the first two games of the Hoosiers’ season as the first player off the bench. But after that, Hartman rarely saw action on the court, amassing just 16 minutes of play during the entire Big Ten season.

Perhaps he wasn’t aggressive enough in the opportunities he was given. But it was expected he would have the entire offseason to work on his game and gain more confidence on the court heading into his sophomore season.

That never happened.

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2014-2015 Player Profile: Devin Davis

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’re taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster this month. Today, we continue our look at Indiana’s roster with Devin Davis.

As questions still linger about just what Hanner Mosquera-Perea will bring to Indiana’s frontcourt, Devin Davis enters the 2014-2015 campaign as perhaps the Hoosiers’ closest thing to a known commodity.

Offense wasn’t a strong suit of his game last season as a freshman, and it’s unlikely Davis will be in line for a featured offensive role this year. What Davis may lack in height, he makes up for with a strong frame — putting on about 10 pounds of muscle this offseason — to bang in the post and muscle for rebounds. Which, along with finishing the opportunities he’s given, might be all the Hoosiers really need out of him in the frontcourt this season with its host of scoring options on the perimeter.

Davis attempted just 18 field goals over five games in Canada, but made an impressive 14 of them to shoot 77.8 percent for the trip. He also returns as the team’s top offensive (11.4 offensive rebounding percentage) and defensive (21.5 defensive rebounding percentage) rebounder among regulars. Davis ripped down 16 boards in 19 minutes during Indiana’s first game in Canada. With Indiana lacking in the rebounding department heading in this season, it’s an encouraging sign. Though, Davis would have just three rebounds in 22 minutes the next game.

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2014-2015 Player Profile: Stanford Robinson

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’re taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster this month. Today, we continue our look at Indiana’s roster with Stanford Robinson.

If there was one way of defining Stanford Robinson’s value as a freshman last season, it came in his free throw numbers.

The 6-foot-4 guard got to the free throw line as much as anyone on Indiana’s roster during Big Ten action last season, outside of Yogi Ferrell, as Robinson proved to be effective in getting to the rim and causing opponent foul trouble.

Heading into this season, Robinson will continue to hold value in that role, especially on a team that plans on moving the ball quickly and effectively, with the ball moving in and out of the paint. And over the offseason, Indiana coach Tom Crean said Robinson is becoming more reliable in that role.

“Stan’s gaining a level of consistency that he has not had,” Crean said on July 15. “His body’s different. His conditioning and energy are different and it’s not because he’s doing more. It’s because he’s smarter.”

During Indiana’s preseason trip to Canada, Robinson led the Hoosiers in free-throw attempts, suggesting he was aggressive as anyone in trying to get to the basket.

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2014-2015 Player Profile: Troy Williams

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With the start of college basketball season on the horizon, we’re taking a long look at the conference at large as well as Indiana’s roster this month. Today, we continue our look at Indiana’s roster with Troy Williams.

If the Hoosiers are to make a return trip to the NCAA tournament, a sophomore leap from Troy Williams could go a long way in making it a reality.

Coming into Tom Crean’s program last summer from Oak Hill Academy, Williams’ athleticism and love of the home run play were never in doubt. But as the 2013-2014 season went along, the Virginia product suffered from a prolonged case of freshman-itis. He tried to do too much and was often too fast with the ball in his hands (24.8 turnover percentage). While his 2-point field goal percentage led the team (56.9 percent) thanks to a nice ability to score at the rim, his free throw shooting (67.6 percent) and 3-point shooting (20.7 percent) suffered. Williams missed assignments on defense and lacked awareness at times on both sides of the ball.

The good news?

Crean has proven if a young, raw player puts in the time and commitment to his program, he’ll get better. And on the Canada trip, Williams indeed appears to be sporting an improved all-around game.

He stuffed the statsheet during the five-game tour (18.4 points, 6.4 rebounds, 2.6 assists, 1.2 blocks and 1.2 steals in 27.8 minutes per game) and revealed a left-hand injury that prevented him from using both hands during last season is a thing of the past. While Williams’ shot so far appears improved, his greatest chance at success on offense may be attacking off the dribble and scoring off the baseline. And an improved cast of shooters around him may give him more space to do so. Improved decision-making as he breaks down the defense should lead to a) less turnovers and b) a higher assist rate.

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